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Don’t Get Your Hops Up

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Don’t Get Your Hops Up

Hi Friends!

I can hardly believe it but I am running low on my haul from Istanbul. I will have to finally check out that candy shop in Chinatown I have been eyeing! Hopefully I can get some interesting stuff.

Today we return to the familiar war zone-the battle of the gummy pairing. Before we start however I wanted to give a special shout-out to a fan I met during a twitter chat. I won’t mention your name but it was fun chatting with you!

If you are interested in following me on twitter, my handle is @BraveBrasington. I mostly talk about public health stuff.

The Wine: Abadia de la Oliva, Tempranillo 2012

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The Candy: Haribo Frogs & Haribo Rainbow Frogs

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The Dream:

I chose tempranillo because, while it has an undeniable fruitiness, it also has other rich flavors that balance out the sweetness. In past pairings, I found fruity red wines went well with gummies so I wanted to keep to that trend while challenging it slightly.

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The Reality:

The tempranillo is quite lovely actually and smells of licorice and blackberries. The wine goes down smooth with a slight acidity and dryness.

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The small frogs are the superior pairing since they are fruity. The wine is not thrown and the fruity frogs draw out the wine’s sweetness.

The big frogs are a BIG disappointment. Their flavor is not that distinct and the wine’s flavor is altered. It’s not terrible, but not great.

Overall? The fruity gummies go well with the fruity wines. However, I don’t know what to do with the non-fruity gummies.  I think we will try the cola bottles or something sour for the next gummies. I’m always up for a challenge!

 

Musharoom About Nothing

Friends, I have been challenged. And I am afraid I have not met up to the expectations. But every time I “lose” a challenge, I plan to revisit it until I can satisfy both my ego and my readers.

The Challenge: Couple a foreign wine with a foreign candy

Seems simple, doesn’t it? I already had an Argentine red wine in mind, all I needed was a tasty candy. I knew I wanted something unusual and definitely something I had not yet tried. I also wanted to buy something you could get at a regular grocery store. I will branch out in the future to stranger tides, but I want this blog to be accessible. If you can’t find the candy, what is the point? How can I advise you?

I found quite an unusual candy and thought it could make a dashing suitor for my Argentine wine.

The Wine: Funky Llama, 2010, tempranillo

A Funky Taste Sensation

The Candy: Chocorooms, Meiji, Japan

A Splendid Chocolately Combination and Crispy Cracker

The Dream:

I did not know anything about this wine except that it was red (what else is there to know, right?) And I don’t allow myself to cheat, because that is not how you learn. Looking at the wine, I didn’t think it was sweet. How could a funky llama be sweet, after all? I figured it would have a strong flavor, because that llama looks like he means business. So these cute little ‘shrooms seemed just the thing. They looked crisp, with just the right amount of milk chocolate. And they had personality. I wasn’t confident, since I did not know much about “tempranillo”, but I felt comfortable with my pick.

Crisp chocolate with personality

The Reality:

It wasn’t….bad exactly. But also not great.

Tempranillo, according to Wiki, “is a variety of black grape widely grown to make full bodied red wines.” It is known to have flavors of vanilla, tobacco, berries, plum, and herbs.  Our llama has a citrusy, almost lemony flavor. It is strong and extremely flavorful. At the same time, I tasted a high amount of tannins. It ended on a bitter note, while remaining lovely.

Not Bad, Not Great

But the Chocorooms sort of wilted underneath the strong flavor of the wine. The flavor was too subdued. Although tasty, they would probably go better with a Sauvignon Blanc than a Tempranillo. They pairing was not unpleansant-they went together fine. But I would suggest something bolder. In terms of international candies, I am not exactly sure what this would mean. I wouldn’t recommend anything with a crispy cookie part. It just didn’t work. I might suggest a gummy candy, like Haribo Berries. These Haribo, if I recall correctly, are strong. But their subtle sweetness would go well with this wine.

 

One reoccurring question this blog keeps bringing up: do opposites attract? Or not? It is certainly a factor to consider in the future.

Stay tuned for the Valentine’s Day special. In that blog post, I’ll be singing sweet nothings to the planet Earth by pairing an organic wine and candy.